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THE MESIAN-MESSAGE NO. 88. MARCH, 2009.
THE LADY ANON. SERIES
THE SELVARAJ DANIEL 3RD EDITION


Cow Niu
HAPPY NIU YEAR
Cow Niu

HAPPY NIU YEAR. WHAT, SUY SANG? Aren't you mistaken. Isn't Chinese New Year gone? And your spelling is wrong? Yes, Chinese New Year is gone, but Chinese Niu Year is on. For the niu year of the Chinese is the year of the ox, the cow, the buffalo, the bull or the bullock. And "niu" means all these animals collectively known as cattle!

People have called the "niu" year the year of the Ox only. Few refer it as the year of the bull, but never have they say the year of the buffalo and never ever anyone says the year of the cow. So ungrateful, for it is the cow that benefits mankind most! No wonder there is a Malay saying which goes like this: "lembu punya susu, sapi dapat nama." The cow produces milk, but the bull gets the name.

Now, not even the bull gets the name except occasionally you hear people abuse it by shouting "bull shit". The Ox gets the title and fame!! How often do we say "ox" in ordinary parlance?

The cow gets none but only be sneered at as the producer of cow dung!

Still want to know more? Let me deliberate and elaborate for all.

Cow With Bell

"Niu" is ox or cow, bull or bullock in Pudong language, the national pronunciation for the Chinese language throughout China which is erroneously referred to as Mandarin. The Chinese are strange; they have a standard written script, but there are hundreds of ways of pronunciation! Ox or cow, or bullock or buffalo in Cantonese is "ngau", in Hokkien is "ngoo", in hakka is "ngiew" and so forth with other dialects.

Cow Winks

Another strange thing about the Chinese written script is that the Japanese can understand it, the Korean can read it and probably some Vietnamese, Cambodians, Myanmars, and Laotians can decipher it. Aren't these other people scions of the Chinese? I ain't no Oriental scholar. That is all that I can guess so far! If I have committed an error, please right me and put me back to par.

There are 384 days in the Niu Year.

Why? Arenft there 365 days in a year? Nope, 365 days a year is in the Georgian Calendar. The Chinese has a Lunar calendar. Excuse me not only the Chinese follow that Lunar Calendar, but many ethnic groups in Asia also has the same lunar calendar. In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the months are specified as big or small. A big month has 30 days and a small month has 29 days.

The following are the months in the Niu Year according to if they are big or small:


Big Months

  • 1st month

  • 2nd month

  • 5th month       
  • 7th month

  • 9th month

  • 11th month

  • 12th month

Small months

  • 3rd month

  • 4th month

  • 5th Leap Month)

  • 6th month

  • 8th month

  • 10th month



  • Hey, there are 13 months in the Niu Year! Yes, because it would be a leap year with a leap month, the May leap month.

    (7 X 30 = 210) + (6 X 29 = 174) = 384 days

    So there are 384 days in the Niu Year

    What a long Niu Year!

    December 31 in the Georgian Calendar is only the 16th day of the eleventh month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar. So the next CNY would fall in the middle of February 2010. What animal will represent the next Lunar Year? Want to know all those zodiac creatures, and little stories on them lucky animals? Tell me so and I will write about them for all to know.



    STORY NO. 3 :
    HE WAS SOMEBODY


    One morning I met with Zainal Lisut at the Syed Bistro in Kelana Jaya. We had breakfast of chappati and thosai.

    As his usual self, Zainal had a lot to tell. After leaving school he bunked off to KL. He mixed up with men of politics of course the established segment, the former Alliance. That coalition was in power and so Zainal too enjoyed some of the oozing wealth and privileges of the establishment.

    He was sort of man of liaison man running here and there to liaise with the top and the bottom. Thus he was a sort of middleman - a runner. From the top he received orders and demands. He handed down the orders and needs of the bosses.

    Then at the bottom, there were complaints and things to be done or explained. That he also handled to the satisfaction of the locals. Thus he mingled with busy MPs and more busy and favour seeking assemblymen - politicians on the ascent.

    Yet Zainal did not want to be too prominent. So he kept a low profile. For doing the donkey's jobs, he was generously rewarded with business positions. So he survived and made quite a lucrative living! You know in all political systems there are distributed what we call "jobs for the boys" like they say in America!

    From his dealings with people he had built up quite a big clientele that had spilled over to members of his family. Zainal's wife is a creative lady. She designs beautiful hampers for companies, personalities, and dignitaries. Want to get hampers individually created, anybody?

    Most of us knew Zainal as an avid soccer player. Now he mixes around in clubs and tee balls with all sorts of clubs. Zainal keeps a good figure, lanky, no bulging tummy and a well-balanced body. For he is an active man: jogging, walking and mixing with all sorts of friends.

    Zainal is in retirement now, but he is quite an established fellow. Cheerio, Zainal.




    THAT STORY JOLTED
    KUMARASAMY'S MEMORY


    Dear Suy Sang,

    As usual as soon as I see the mail came in, I will tear open the Mesian before I could have my tea after work. The Mesian No. 87, which carried Professor Voon Phin Keong's letter took me back to 1962. I happened to be one of his students in Form four A in 1962. I think he was there only for one term and within that short period he taught us map drawing of Bentong town, contour study which helped us to understand the steepness of mountains. Mr Surendra Nath was our class teacher and taught us literature.

    Prof. Voon has mentioned few names, one of them my good friend Chin Sak Min when he became the King Scout we MES students were very proud of him. Sad to learn he passed away. The last time I met him was in Cameron Highlands where he worked for a transport company.

    G P Kumarasamy, Rawang


    Editor's note:

    1. Mr. Surendra Nath had kissed the dust. He is known as the late Surendranath now.

    2. Hey, map drawing and contour work is in the Form Six syllabus slot! Good, for in MES teachers were free to teach what they knew! Where in the world did we have typewriting, book-keeping, shorthand etc in our syllabus! Yet we were taught these things that we cherish so much now!!




    HISTORY
    REELING BACK HALF A CENTURY:
    BACK TO
    1959 - MARCH

    "I don't like to cane students, but sometimes it has to be done"! My exclamation.

    And it was gone!! See how he learnt about children. Mr. Miles came in with love for students even up to the point of disarming the rattan from the hand of his predecessor. Now he had to bring back that weapon! On whom did he administered the corporal punishment? On whose butt fell the rattan? For what misdemeanour the offender had done? You have to read his diary to get the crunch of the incident!

    Oh yes talking of punishment, Mr. Miles explained in class the difference between "corporal" and "capital" punishment. A student understood not the difference. He nearly got the right punishment when our mentor showed him the rattan! So the rattan had been reinstated in its rightful place in the principal's office. The ultimate weapon that made students frightened!

    A delinquent student took some money to serve as fare home before running from the hostel. He was considered as to not have anything to do with the hostel and school. You can read: "Wefre finished with bothering with him."

    Now names that appeared in his March 1959 diary: Hong Chai, Kanagaraj, Zubir, Munzir, and Yit Seong. The big guy, Hong Chai soon died. The rest are still kicking around.

    Then there was a string of princes mentioned: Tengku Nizan, Tengku Ahmad, Tengku Ismail, Tengku Ibrahim, Tengku Rahim, Tengku Jamil and Tengku Abdullah.

    There were some more commoners: Ah Ming, Hock Sek, Victor Dass, and Bakar. Wong Sai Kow, Ragwans Kaur, Charles Benjamin, Syed Adanan, Syed Abdullah, Bahari, Kamal, Brian, Shamsuddin Salleh, Yeng Kee, Zahid, and Heng Thoong.



    THIS IS MEIJI

    This is a little story about a Mesian called Mohd. Razlan. One day out of the blue he called me from Kemaman.

    While having a small talk at the little round marble table, we heard the canines yapping at some in-coming visitor. We walked outside via the back of the house. There, standing near a motorcycle stood a casually dressed but head-shaven lady. "This is Meiji," our mentor introduced her. She is the Buddhist nun whose vocation plus hobby is to rope in stray canines and keep and feed them in an outpost somewhere near Bilut Valley.

    Meiji had come to treat Hercules, a huge sort of Alsatian that had been bitten. Days ago, Hercules was involved in a fight with some stray canines. In the battle, he was bitten. Now, the wounds had gone septic and maggots ridden. Our mentor coaxed Hercules into a cage. Then the three of us carried Hercules to the front porch. Meiji sprayed a blue stuff probably a poison or lotion or medicine onto the wounds. She said that would help in the healing.



    I WAS BITTEN

    From that little bit of moving around I was bitten. By the canines? No, they are the friendly lot to me. One named Zahara, was particularly friendly as she used to jump on me whenever I come around.

    But the bite was expedited by a blood drinker. The culprit was a wriggly critter; a voracious blood sucker; a leech! That's it!! It had climbed my shin and bitten me causing a sort of itching pain. I pulled it off my shin and crushed it with my footwear.



    THE CRITTERS GO TO TOWN

    On seeing that our mentor said, the other day he had brought two of those creatures into town. "One I noticed it on my shirt while I was at the bank. I just flicked it off. The other fed to its full content on my leg until I noticed the blood that oozed out to wet my pants." To visitors may I say:

    Beware, when you are out there!




    CALAMITIES with A PURPOSE


    One Sunday at 2.45 pm I left the Bukit Chamang house for the roadside bus stop to catch the bus back to KL. After 20 minutes of waiting a bus came. But that bus only plied a local route. It would only dump me at the main bus station in town. Just behind, another bus that was supposed to be the KL-bound bus came trundling past. Alas! I should have boarded the second bus for it overshot us!!

    But strange enough!! When I reached the station, no bus was in sight. The "supposed to be the KL-bound bus" had mysteriously disappeared. And there was no time scheduled for a bus to leave the station for Kuala Lumpur then.


    CHANGING BUSES

     Bus Yellow

    I waited at the bus station until 3.40 pm, yet the 3.30 pm scheduled bus had not pulled into the station. I made up my mind to take the 4.00 pm South Union express bus instead and bought the ticket. As soon as I picked up the ticket, I turned and saw the Central Pahang bus thundered into the station. What luck! I was dumb-struck!! Then that recently came in bus pulled out of the station heading for Kuala Lumpur.

    I was stuck for half an hour. So I waited. But the South Union bus that I was supposed to catch came into the station late! Oh my gosh! I was actually delayed for more than half an hour. Then another Central Pahang bus came in, and left in the direction of KL. Damn!

    The South Union bus then pulled into the station. Immediately, it left for it was behind time for fifteen minutes. I felt good as that was an express bus and it would not stop half way.



    THE BUS STALLS

    However, that feeling of reaching KL soon did not last. At the Lentang Picnic Spot about 19km from Bentong, the South Union bus from the company that had a reputation of having well-maintained and seldom break down buses, stalled and the driver pulled it over to the roadside. It had broken down; and that was also my first time to travel in a South Union bus plying KL via Bentong through Raub, now!


    ON BUS NUMBER 3
     Bus Orange

    It looked like all the calamities that struck me on that day's short journey from Bentong to KL, had some purpose: to listen to some interesting stories!! When I reached Kuala Lumpur I checked my watch. The delay was less than half an hour and no more! But there in the capital city, I saw much, much more!!


    FOREIGN INVASION IN THE CITY

    I treaded the streets of Kuala Lumpur going about the hub of the city. After consuming a meal of animal soup entrails I looked around. There I saw the crowd, the whole street of them foreigners - foreign labour mostly from the sub-continent. They must be Bangladeshis, Nepalese, Pakistanis, etc, etc., for their bodies were ebony! They spoke languages most unfamiliar to me. I wonder if local Indians know them foreign tongues! I shivered to think what if they turn on me, grab me and rob or manhandle me! So in haste I left the place. There is nothing safer than home!




    WHAT A B I R T H D A Y BASH


    February 15, 2009 - 10.30 am, I left for Mr. Miles's house. A slow moving bulldozer helped me to cross the road to enter the uphill estate driveway. As soon as I had parked my car, Mahalingam drove in. As we sat waiting for others to arrive we talked on all and sundry. Garry, Mary and family came with Mr. Thung an elderly man, walking-stick in hand. Such a faithful friend! From our conversation I came to know that he and our mentor was of the same age. What a difference he finds difficulties in walking while Mr. Miles was briskly walking around entertaining! With them also came Mrs. Thum, Choo Oi Mei and another pretty lady. Then came Ramasamy and Kumarasamy followed by Lee Yew Kong, Wong Mun Seong and his pretty daughter, Munzir Abbas and his spouse, John Chinniah and Selvaraj Daniel. From Temerloh came Foo Yook Yoon, Foo Yu Pong and his family.

    Pots and pans, boxes and cans were many, and luck was aplenty. Thus, there materialized the potluck party instantly. We had plenty to eat. Thank you. Your presence and presents made Mr. Miles's Birthday Bash a big success. Hurray! Youfve made his day!!



    HERE IS WHAT MR. MILES SAYS

     Writing Thank You

    "A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR PRESENCE & PRESENTS,"

    He really stressed "big" meaning so huge so much so that there ain't no space here to print it for you to view. Hahaha. It's banter! Jest to stoke for laughter!!



    Fiiiiii-few..... Alice Wong Moo Chun, a beauty queen, cat-walked in for a visit. She offered herself to any suitable and right-aged guy to be her Mr. Right. All the guys including Ted Miles were floored, totally disqualified. Why? Age-wise, not right!




    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE FOLLOWING IN MARCH

    Birthday Cake - Green



    No.
    NAME
    BIRTHDAY
    1
    TEH BOON TAN
    MARCH 3
    2
    LOH KOK KEONG
    MARCH 6
    3
    JOHAR B. ZABIDIN
    MARCH 9
    4
    NG SHUI CHUAN
    MARCH 10
    5
    LOH FOOK CHENG
    MARCH 12
    6
    A.KRISHNAN ARUMUGAM
    MARCH 17
    7
    HJ. TENGKU PUJI
    MARCH 18
    8
    LIEW CHOW YIN
    MARCH 20
    9
    ABU HANIPAH MOHD
    MARCH 31
    10
    ZULKIFLY ARSAD
    MARCH 31
    11
    ZULKIFLY M.ESA
    MARCH 31



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    (Note: Syed Adanan has just expired in early 2009)




    TWO MORE DEPARTURES


    One day in early February, Mr. Miles told me of two exits from our fraternity.

    First he said, the late Syed Adanan of Lanchang had returned to his creator. Al-Fatehah. Then he related how Lee Kim Thye had lost her beloved hubby Tony. May his soul rest in peace in the hereafter. To the family of each of these two departees, we are so sorry to hear the bad news. We wish to express our heart-felt and deepest condolences to their surviving spouses and progenies.




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    Edited and written by Chan Suy Sang
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